wherethesunisalwayshining

sprinkling positivity

The Many Benefits of Yoga

Why do I and many others try to  practise Yoga daily?

What is the purpose of it?

Yoga has many benefits in a variety of sectors; physical, mental, energetic & spiritual.

Physical Benefits – So practising yoga asanas (postures) with moving our physical bodies, helps stretch the muscles, create more flexibility and strength, improves blood circulation and is well known for easing back pain. Practising yoga daily therefore allows you to observe how you improve in different postures, push beyond previous limits and allow you to do things you never thought possible – giving a great self-esteem boost. It also allows you to practise acceptance for your body, we are all built differently and sometimes we physically cannot do something because our bones compress etc; that is ok. It also helps you keep a healthy and fit body to live a good life!

‘Look after your body or you won’t have anywhere to live’

Mental Benefits – Practising yoga can helps ease the mind as we use the tools of concentration. Focusing on being in the correct alignment/posture, focusing on a specific spot or concentrating on your breathing – these are all techniques to help still the mind as all the focus flows in one direction. This calm & stillness then allows you to think with clarity and make better choices in life. Also being aware of what you think about on the mat is a benefit – If you find yourself thinking about the past or future; realize you probably want to work on being in the present moment if you want a quieter mind. If you’re worrying about things you have to do; realize it’s better to get them out the way first! These are only examples, the yoga mat is a place of self-exploration and discovery.

‘Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are’

Energetic Benefits – This can be seen in various ways: please go by whatever resonates with you. Practising any physical activity creates a difference in our energetic system and usually a form of physical exercise as some people view yoga as; can produce happy hormones. We can also feel much more relaxed from slow breathing, slow movement..just in general slowing down from our regular day life! It can also go the opposite way (depending on your class) and you may leave feeling full of energy and life, rearing to go.

Another aspect of energetic benefits is the sublimation of energy within the Chakras. The Chakras are Energetic centres corresponding with specific glands, organs and facets of your being. There are 7 main  energy centres running from the bottom of the spine, along to the crown of the head. Usually we have imbalances or blockages from things we supress, general phenomenon’s in life and emotional blockages of  experiences that we have held on to. Imbalances in our chakras have a huge impact on our overall energetic system as energy cannot flow from one chakra to the other.. this can affect us through physical disease, behaviour, overall energy and health. Practising yoga postures often can help to balance these through the working on specific postures known to help grounding, opening the heart etc.

‘Energy flows where attention goes’

Spiritual Benefits – I put this last for a reason, because many of us begin yoga for a physical or mental benefit. We get told we’ll become flexy and strong, be able to do cool postures and it will make us calm and relaxed – Perfect activity or what?

I say this  from experience.. perhaps not for everyone, but yoga is so much more than that. If you decide to explore the traditional Indian philosophy behind it and practise what ancient yogis wrote down in texts, you will find a lot of wisdom. Yoga is traditionally seen as a spiritual practise (I had no idea until I got interested in researching), although I was never religious or had faith in anything in particular, my heart just found resonance in the yogic teachings. There is no right and wrong, there is only guidance. Practising things such as truthfulness, non-harming to yourself and others, self-discipline, contentment.. try it for a week and see the difference it makes. Living a life through guidance of enlightened sages that share their wisdom and knowledge to be free from the mind and its limitations. To control the mind instead of having it control us. It helped me realize that I am so much more than my physical body, that everyone is, to have kindness and compassion for myself and others. So practising yoga also gives you the opportunity to explore bringing spirituality into your life through following guidance of spiritual texts, following daily self enquiry to reconnect with your soul and your true self, beyond the mind.

These are brief examples on the benefits of yoga and I hope you will have a further insight to what yoga can bring to your life. Go to a class with an open mind, with curiosity and see what feels right for you 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Accepting when negativity arises within us

Complete acceptance for that of which we are.

Wouldn’t that be incredible?

I used to think after all the self-study, observation and reflecting I do, surely I accept myself for who I am now? And yes in a sense I do, I honour my thoughts and feelings and make time to really listen to myself and try putting myself first.

Boy, it takes up a lot of time and energy to do so much self work but ITS WORTH IT. I have never felt so at peace with myself and content with life, even when I have the not so good days. I have discovered who I am (Yes I know it sounds cheesy, but im sorry, its true. People feel lost and its all about going on a journey to find yourself.)

So.. I’ve discovered and continue to learn about who I am but do I have complete acceptance? The answer I discovered this week.. not quite

Through mindfulness practise I discovered feelings of stress and anxiety, aka negative feelings. My mind got annoyed that I was experiencing this negativity so I ended up fighting it, resisting that it was happening and trying to shove it back to wherever it came from. Complete non-acceptance of what I was experiencing in the present moment, not accepting that negative emotions do arise within me once in a while! So basically beating myself up in a way, saying ‘this negativity is not acceptable so get out, i don’t accept you, why are you feeling like this.’

Acceptance is about embracing yourself as a whole, all aspects of yourself, without rejecting the uncomfortable and shameful parts.

I could pretend that I am positive all the time and a negative thought never crosses my mind, but would that be me? Nope, it’d just be pretense, a false self.

We are perfectly imperfect. We have positive and negative thoughts, resistance only makes them grow, acceptance is showing yourself love and kindness. Don’t beat yourself up over a negative emotion, be aware of it and be curious as to why it has arisen and then smile and accept. Accept yourself exactly as you are.

Affirmation of the upcoming week –

* I accept myself and all which arises within me, completely in this present moment *

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Balance – the key to a happy life

Balance, equal measures, yin and yang.

Whatever way you want to perceive it.

Balance is something we strive for in our lives. We all essentially want a balanced lifestyle because balance is the key to happiness.

We need self-discipline to motivate us to do the things we don’t like, balanced with self-love and compassion to be able to listen to ourselves and not push ourselves beyond our limits.

There needs to be a balance between work and play, most of society spends most of their lives working either long hours or in high-stress jobs that once they get home, all they want to do is crash out. Finding balance in your work environment is very important so you remember to play, enjoy hobbies and relationships.

We all crave balance in our relationships, whether it’s with family, friends or spouse. We want equal effort from both parts or the relationship suffers. If one person makes more effort than the other, it is not a balanced healthy relationship.

We need a healthy balanced diet for our mental and physical health, this in some cases is a problem when one might eat only junk food, processed foods and candy, its equally as big of a problem when one only eats salads, fruit and veg. There needs a variety and balance to be healthy.

When an area of life is off- balance it can create stress, illness, suffering and unhappiness.

It is fundamental for your health and your life, how you are as a person. Finding balance isn’t always easy and it’s very easy to get knocked off balance when certain situations/events happen, but figuring out a way to get back to that equality and steady ground – that is what we should all be aiming for.

Maintaining a balanced life is the key to having a good life.

(My next post will be tips and advice on how to find/maintain balance

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Are you creating happiness or suffering for yourself?

Most of us hate the thought that we suffer because of our own thoughts or that we create unhappiness for ourselves. We want to blame someone else or other people’s actions or life situations for causing these negative emotions within us. But does that change or transform them? No, it’s just not accepting responsibility.

Im writing this post because I want us all to understand we are responsible for our happiness and for our suffering, when you understand that then you understand you have control over your thoughts and emotions and they don’t control you. Therefore you have the power and control over your happiness and suffering. You choose how to look at things and that’s what decides whether you are sad or happy.

And you may ask how? Whenever you’re sad or suffering in any form whether it’s anger, frustration, depression – question yourself -‘what thoughts am I thinking about myself and others?’ Because everything comes from thought. Thoughts manifest our reality and create our lives because a thought comes through in our words, actions and feelings.

Feelings of anger or resistance may arise within you from what I have just said, that’s not you that’s just the ego that’s inside each and every one of us. Put your ego aside and try it. Go through that feeling of resistance..

For example let’s say you are suffering because you’re feeling like the odd one out in your group of friends, perhaps you feel like you’re not as attractive, you don’t enjoy the same hobbies as them and you feel like they all know what they want in life because they’re smart and you have no idea and feel dumb. Think how those thoughts may be affecting your life. They are full of negativity, putting yourself down, comparing yourself to others and putting pressure on you.

So now you have awareness you would be able to identify these negative thoughts about the situation that makes you unhappy – great! Now you can change that because you have control over your thoughts. To turn it into a positive perspective, recognize that comparison is the thief of joy, there is no point comparing your beauty to another as we are all unique, there’s no one else on the planet like you and that is beautiful in itself. Focusing on what we do like about ourselves creates happy thoughts , whilst for example – perhaps wishing you had darker skin or bigger hips When in reality you are pale and slim, will only cause suffering because that’s not your body, it’s resisting what you are. show love for what you are and embrace it instead of trying to be something you’re not. Embracing our natural beauty is much easier than resisting and trying to change it!

we all have unique paths and different journeys, there is no smart and dumb because we all excel at different things and we’re all lacking in other things, sometimes it takes longer to find out what we excel in but isn’t that exciting, knowing there’s something out there to discover and be great at, you just have to experiment and try new things which is wonderful anyway.

You see everything changes when you change your perspective on things.

you decide whether you bring yourself suffering or joy.

i understand sometimes it’s difficult to see the other way of thinking if you’re too caught up in it, so perhaps ask a friend or write it down. Ask me and il happily try to find a positive outlook on a situation for you.

remember to take time out to think to yourself -what thoughts am I thinking that is creating this suffering or this happiness? Either is good to observe!

the sun is always shining 🙂

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theres a difference between being selfish and looking after yourself

In our society we have been taught that were selfish if we do as we please, put ourselves first and make ourselves happy before someone else. This is not reality, it’s a misconception to believe that other people are responsible for our happiness, and we are responsible for theirs. We are neglecting ourselves if we say yes to something when inside were shouting no. We aren’t being kind to ourselves if we stay unhappy just because we know we’re making someone else happy. We have this inner voice and feelings as a sign to show what we want in life, it’s there for a reason so listen to it.

it would be selfish for someone to ask you not to put yourself first.

A paragraph from the secret –

Unless you fill yourself up with love first, you have nothing to give to anybody. Therefore it is imperative to tend to you first. Attend to your joy first. People are responsible for their own joy. When you tend to your joy and do what makes you feel good, you are a joy to be around and you are a shining example to every child and every person in your life. When you are feeling joy you don’t even have to think about giving. It is a natural over flow.

lets show an example –

lets say and old man asks you to do his washing for him, of course you want to help and be kind do you probably would. Then it becomes a routine and you end up doing it weekly. Then life starts to become hectic and you have many other things going on and you’re stressed trying to keep everyone happy. You feel it would be selfish to stop doing the old mans washing but inside you really don’t want to do it anymore as it’s just another thing on the long list. In truth it would be selfish for the old man to continue expecting this from you if he knew everything else you had going on.

Listen to yourself, be honest in a situation and know you have to put yourself first which sometimes means saying no to things that make others happy but yourself unhappy, sick or stressed.

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break free from the comfort zone.. It’s not that comfortable

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The purpose of personal development and growth

I practise personal growth and want to grow as a person. What does that actually mean? (No I’m not hoping il get taller 😉 ). It means I am open to change, to learn and develop to become the person I want to be.

The great thing is we can all become the people we want to be – the best person we possibly can, our true selves.

Through practising personal growth and development through self study and self observation, they bring awareness to your thoughts, feelings, words and actions towards yourself and others.

The interesting thing is that most of the time we have no idea what’s holsing us back in the sub conscious mind, it takes talking to people or reading something etc to awaken something within us to make us aware of a situation we want to change. Perhaps we are unaware that we are sometimes unkind, judgemental or dishonest – with self observation of the mind we can become aware of these traits that hold us back from being our true self, ou best self.

To grow also means to go through some challenges. Perhaps see life like a video game, you go through a challenge and have to change to get through level 1 and then something else comes up and you work in it again, uncovering all these layers of yourself so you can be whoever you choose to be.

I am not saying you’re not you now, I am myself now but I know there’s always space for growth, in us all. And it’s exciting – to develop and know there’s always things within us we can change to be happier.

For example – the past few months have been pretty easy going for me but in a sense I’ve felt a bit stuck. I’ve not had anything new come up for me to work on but all in good time I ended up randomly speaking to a woman my age who was so comfortable with being in her own skin, really accepting who she was and her body and being open to expressing that. I found myself upset and in awe – I want to have that freedom of knowing how amazing my body is and how to really let go of any misconceptions. It was relief for me to cry and see this is something I want to change – somewhere for me to develop and grow so I can be free and more towards the person I want to be.

Personal growth is being content with what you have now but being open to more , being open to change. Start with bringing awareness to yourself and you will change your whole life to become the best version of yourself, to know you can change and be whoever you want to be at any moment in life.

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What thoughts are you having today?

Stop for a second and think? What thoughts are you having right now, what thoughts are creating your feelings, what thoughts are manifesting into your reality?

If you want a good life, make sure you are creating good feelings by having good thoughts.

Perhaps do this exercise everyday, it takes 5 minutes if that. Bringing awareness to your thoughts and feelings. Perhaps try doing it mid morning so you are aware of where you’re at, and how you can transform your day by having better thoughts.

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Our thoughts affect our whole lives

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experiencing my ego taking over

So as we know, the world is at war because of the ego – as humans beings we are not connecting or relating to each other because of the ego. The reason for failed relationships, arguements, violence etc is all because of the ego.

This morning I experienced becoming aware of my ego in action.

I will explain the situation, and you can see how two people can change their relationship based on the ego’s actions.

So we have a new chef at the retreat where I am volunteering, we have a great laugh and get alone well.

I had explained a few days earlier that I have fruit with my breakfast every morning as I love sweet things to accompany my breakfast. So this morning I went to grab a banana to go with my porridge and the chef said ‘can you not take that, please leave it’. So i left it and left the kitchen feeling annoyed, slightly angry and upset. My mind immediately got to work thinking

‘ you must of done something to upset him, maybe he just doesn’t like you, you’ve annoyed him.’

These assumptions became my truths, i believed them to be what he was thinking.

So after breakfast i returned to the kitchen and washed up in silence, feeling angry. thinking fine, il have to go out and buy my own fruit if i cant eat them here. being stubborn and wanting to be in the right.

Then I took a step back and thought, i don’t like feeling angry, annoyed or upset like this. this isnt good for me, how can I view the situation for what it really might be.

Instead of taking it personally i thought from the chefs point of view

Perhaps he needed those last few bananas for a dish he’d planned, perhaps he just wanted to give the paying guests enough variety of fruit so they wouldn’t complain. Perhaps it had nothing to do with not liking me, or me at all.

My ego had taking it personally and made it about me.

So i decided to be open adn said to the chef – i took the banana situation personally and it annoyed me, i assumed you said i couldn’t have the banana because i had annoyed you or I wasn’t as important as the other guests. This is not an issue I had with him though, this is an issue i had with myself. My ego had taken the situation personally then made an assumption to be the truth. When I was able to be open and honest with the chef he said ‘ I actually was scared of not having enough fruit for people and I would look bad as the chef then, I was worried it had upset you.’

So by being open and honest we both realized that we were very similar human beings, both worrying about different things. I then saw my assumption was wrong and I had this horrible feelings lifted away from my body, because my thoughts weren’t real, they were my ego’s assumptions.

But here you can see how easily we can create conflict in life, it is not easy to be open and honest with someone and say they have upset you because you’ve taken a situation personally. If you are open, you are then open to rejection. However most of the time people see you are actually just human and have the same fears, feelings, emotions as them. If I hadnt of been honest about how I was feeling with the chef, I would’ve carried these horrible feelings with me all day and I would’ve resented working with him, carrying a past situation into the present and into the future – holding on to one small thing that wasn’t even the truth in the first place.

Isn’t it madness how we all do this? How our unconscious ego takes over, takes things personally and makes up assumptions for which we then believe to be the truth?

Have you ever said hello to someone and they havent bother conversing back with you, then you’ve immediately assumed, they dont like me, i wont bother talking to them again, they’re not very nice etc – when in fact they could actually be going through a terrible time and having a bad day and simply want to be on their own, it could be nothing to do with you, maybe they just didn’t feel like being social on that specific day.

Hence why it’s so important that we become aware of when our ego takes over, because at some point it will. Awareness weakens the ego – then we can connect and relate to each other, have empathy and understanding for what someone else might be going through that doesn’t involve you or I.

We are not perfect human beings, its perfectly ok and natural for our ego to kick in but we can change that if we want a happier, peaceful life. We can take back control of the ego – observe it. Dont believe your thoughts to be the truth for we do not think. a thought pops into our head that we have no control over – we have control as to wether we believe it as the truth or as a lie.

You decide. you have the power. you are in control.

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